Justin Bieber has prompted fury with an Instagram post in which he praises Chris Brown, dubbing the singer's notorious assault of Rihanna simply "a mistake".
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Bieber uploaded an image titled 'The Legendary Equation', which claims: 'Michael Jackson plus Tupac equals Chris Brown'.
"Everyone wants to wait 'til people die to give them the credit they deserve," he captioned the post.
"I'm calling it now - when CB passes away after a long full life, you will miss what you had in front of you the whole time... trust me watch you will see.
"The people who have overlooked this man's talent because of a mistake he made... you need to reevaluate! Love you @chrisbrownofficial."
Brown has a history of alleged violent crime, but his most infamous attack was on then-girlfriend Rihanna. He pleaded guilty to savagely assaulting her in 2009 and was sentenced to five years of probation.
"I really hit her, with a closed fist. I punched her. I busted his lip," he said of the incident in an interview for his documentary Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life.
While Bieber's opinion on the matter was supported by celebrities such as Nick Cannon, Sean Kingston and Fifth Harmony's Dinah Jane, many others were outraged.
"Supporting abusers is the mistake," one Instagram user wrote.
"A truly disgusting post," said another.
"Domestic violence is not a mistake," several people commented.
Brown himself took to the comments section to thank his fellow pop star for the encouragement.
"I LOVE YOU MAN! THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN ME. YOUR STAR SHINES SO BRIGHT AND YOUR HEART IS UNMATCHED!
"YOU ARE A KING BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY YOU WERE PUT HERE TO INSPIRE AND CREATE ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES BRO!
"IM WITH YA TILL THE WHEELS FALL OFF AND WHEN THEY DO... WE GONE GET SOME NEW WHEELS [SIC]."
Last week, Bieber received another raft of backlash after he took aim at Eminem, claiming the Detroit rapper "didn't understand" modern hip-hop.